Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


What is your favorite building to study in?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Safety and Security in the Residence Halls: Are Shower Curtains Enough?

Elysia Beynon
Some showers in residence halls at WSU are only divided by curtains, causing students to question security.

For a long time, living in dormitories while attending a university has been a big part of students’ vision boards. To experience the traditional dorm life, students often have different options to select from. There could be gender-specific dorms, gender-inclusive dorms, co-ed dorms, etc. To meet new people and to get the full dorm-life experience, students often opt for the coed dorms. While these types of dorms come with its perks, sometimes there are some extra measures that are often needed to be taken to make sure everyone’s privacy is intact, and they feel comfortable knowing that they are safe.

At Winona State University, residence halls are mostly coed and gender inclusive. Though there are barely any differences between the halls itself, there are many differences between the floor lay out of the dorms. Some are apartment style where roommates share bathroom space, but as they are apartments, they have singular bathrooms. On the other hand, that is not the case for other dorms.

Other halls, such as Sheehan and others, have shared bathrooms among the whole floors. Hence, they are not your traditional bathroom but instead the stall style, where it is an open space and the toilet, shower and the sink area are divided by curtains or short stall doors. An easy to imagine example would be, one of the most well-known residence halls, Sheehan Hall, the bathroom is in middle of the floor plan, so that it can be accessed by both hallways. Now coming to the inside layout if the bathroom, it has toilets on both ends beside the entrance, shower spaces beside each of them and sinks in the middle. Even though the toilets have doors, the showers on most of the floors don’t have doors. Instead, curtains are used to protect privacy.

The main issue here is, using just curtains as a barrier while showering is uncomfortable to many. Curtains might provide a certain level of privacy, but it definitely can’t be used for safety and protection. Students in the past have mentioned about feeling unsafe while they are showering because of the fact that’s it’s not impossible for someone to walk in there without any barrier. Just with this one thing, the chances for getting harassed on campus raises in scale. Coming to the short stall doors, they provide minimum to no privacy. The big gap between the floor and the door can easily make someone feel uneasy using the bathroom. As the bathrooms are often used by many at once, it is not a surprise that, it can easily turn into a not so comfortable situation for all. Talking about privacy, the doors have such big gap between the sides that easily one can peak into the stall. Again, this adds to the possibilities of getting harassed on campus. Yet again, like the curtain situation, in this case as well, there is no safety or protection. The door are flimsy, the door locks are not durable, can be broken down easily and most importantly, stalls are easily invadable because of the huge gaps both on the bottom and top of the stall door and walls.

Story continues below advertisement

Students hope to get a solution to this where they don’t have to worry about their privacy and safety in such a private space. Ensuring their comfort and security should be the thought through and taken this into consideration that doesn’t matter if a dorm is coed or the floor is gender specific, students have the right to their privacy and that should be met no matter what the circumstances.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Sariha Khaled
Sariha Khaled, Features writer

Comments (0)

All The Winonan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *